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Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews: A Book Review

Of Fire and Lions
Author: Mesu Andrews
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: WaterBrook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The Old Testament book of Daniel comes to life in this novel for readers of Lynn Austin's Chronicles of the Kings series or Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.

    Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone? 

     Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

      My Review: Of Fire and Lions is a retelling of the Book of Daniel told from the perspective of Daniel’s wife, Belili. Abigail is a little Hebrew girl living in Jerusalem. One day, when the Babylonians capture the city, she becomes a slave in the Babylonian palace. She meets a Jewish prince named Daniel. The two of them strike a close friendship and eventual romance. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the two are separated. Abigail gives up her faith in Yahweh and starts worshipping other gods and changes her name to Belili. Belili marries a Babylonian official and has a son. 

    When her husband dies unexpectedly, Belili is reunited with Daniel who marries her immediately. Belili tries to become an excellent Jewish wife to please her husband. Could Belili keep her secret that she once worshipped other gods from her husband? Will he ever forgive her if he discovers her secret? Could Belili ever believe in Yahweh again?

   I really admired Belili’s strength and resilience. Belili goes through many hardships as a young girl. Her main priority is survival. Because she has suffered at a very early age, she no longer believes that God exists. Thus, Belili is often put to a test with faith. It is not until she marries Daniel that she slowly starts believing in God. Thus, Daniel was a part of God’s plan for her because he brought her back to God and made her believe in His great love again.

   Daniel was one of my favorite characters in the novel. He was a very righteous man who always made the right choices. Even though he was a hostage prince in another kingdom, he never strayed from his faith or was tempted to worship the other gods. Instead, he always believed that God would protect him, and he never feared anything, even when he entered the lion’s den. Daniel always listened to God and obeyed his will. It is because of his steadfast faith that Belili slowly warms up to God.

   Overall, this novel is about tests of faith and learning how to love. Of Fires and Lions had complex and realistic characters. The setting is filled with rich historical detail. The writing is very lush and evocative. What I really liked is that the novel was very faithful to the Book of Daniel. Of Fire and Lions kept me enthralled because it was filled with romance, danger, political intrigue, and miracles, and I did not want this book to end! For those that love Christian romances, this is not a book that you should miss! I have to confess that as a huge fan of biblical fiction, I have to say that this is one of the best of 2019! Of Fire and Lions proves why Mrs. Andrews is one of my go to historical authors!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is the official book trailer of Of Fire and Lions:

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